As the Tamil Nadu government faces brickbats for not being able to manage the worst water shortage in the history of the state, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has decided to knock at the doors of the gods. Local Administration Minister S P Velumani, who had earlier stated that the water scarcity was "manufactured news", was seen participating in a special puja, organised by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, part of the state government, to appease the rain gods. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is also in the line of fire. Frustrated with questions on the allocation of water to VVIP homes in Chennai, he declared, "I drink four litres and use only two buckets of water per day."
To boost revenue collection, officers of the Madhya Pradesh excise department came up with an unusual idea. In the proposed excise policy, there was a suggestion to deliver liquor online, directly to the customer's doorstep, a la Domino's or Pizza Hut. The department said it would allot licences to two companies for this purpose. The logic was the state would keep the margin, which went to contractors in conventional selling. When the proposal came to the knowledge of state Chief Minister Kamal Nath, he lost his cool. He trashed the idea saying it would severely dent the image of the state government.
DMK jittery after TDP flux
After a bunch of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members — including party chief Chandrababu Naidu's close confidantes Y S Chowdary and C M Ramesh — joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last week, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leadership is feeling jittery. Two DMK members met Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu around the same time, sparking speculation that some party members, including Dayanidhi Maran, were mulling a switch. Later, the DMK had to issue a clarification that it was a mere courtesy call. But the brass of DMK, which won 23 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu in the elections held in April, is not taking any chances. Insiders say their party president has unofficially warned party Members of Parliament not to even greet BJP leaders when they meet on the Parliament premises. He has also designated some older members of the party to keep a watch on the younger ones.